November 7, 2012

Improved Moisture Encourages Replanting of Soy in Mato Grosso

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

After a sporadic start to the rainy season, the weather this week in Mato Grosso is expected to be the most favorable thus far this growing season. Most of the Brazilian state is expected to receive up to a half an inch of precipitation per day this week. The improved soil moisture will allow farmers to continue planting their 2012/13 soybean crop, but also it will help them to replant some of their fields where the germination was poor.

The greatest amount of replanted soybeans will be in the western and south-central parts of the state. Farmers in these regions started planting their soybeans as soon as the first rains of the summer occurred in anticipation that more rain would soon follow. Unfortunately, they were very disappointed when several weeks passed before any further moisture was received. In the intervening weeks, the temperatures were extremely hot with readings often exceeding 100 degrees. As a result, the soybeans either partially germinated or the emerging plants died from the hot and dry conditions in the weeks following the first rain. In some areas as much as 20% of the soybeans will now need to be replanted.

Now that the moisture seems to be improving in the state, soybean planting could be completed in the dryer areas within about three weeks.

Not only does replanting increase the cost of production for the farmers, it also means that they may not be able to plant the second crop of corn they had intended to plant after the soybeans were harvested. The planting window for safrinha corn is generally considered to be between early January and the third week of February. Any corn planted in March or later runs the risk of moisture deficits before the grain filling period is complete.

If a field of soybeans are replanted this week in Mato Grosso, it won't be ready for harvest until approximately mid-March, which would then make the planting a second crop of corn a very risky proposition.